The History of DrK and Thalen
(and other minor players, all belonging to the same person)
I started mudding in late 1993 or early 1994. I found Mystic on a listing of online games through Gopher, and it was one of the first few muds I logged in to (and the first I spent more than 10 minutes on). Immediately I logged on as DrK (Doctor K) as it was the only nickname I had really been given at the time. And, immediately chose the warrior class because, well, what else is there? Actually, having been not all that long out of a rather lengthy stint in martial arts, I sort of had the disposition for it.
DrK played several hours a day, and was the impetus for signing up for my second internet service (the first being an early Prodigy account around 1991, but that wasn't really internet back then). My account was a Unix shell account, as that was the much more common form of the internet back then. As a new mudder, I didn't develop as quickly with DrK as I might have, reaching the (at the time) ceiling level of 99 just shortly after my 100th mud birthday.
At that time, level 99 was the be-all and end-all of a mud character. I continued to play with abandon, not being at all bored with the loss of my ability to level. Equipment was collected, and skills were honed. My knowledge of the areas on the mud grew slowly, but over a rather long period of time. In those days, warriors were the ultimate class, and I was probably one of the most accomplished and skilled warriors there. One or two others that come to mind were probably as good if not slightly better, but those things are hard to judge. In those days, it was possible for a well equipped warrior to win battles while link dead, and that fact probably did little to help my popularity, but despite the problems associated with unbalanced classes, I managed to become friends with a fairly large number of people, many of whom followed (or even preceded) me up the mud hierarchy.
Not too long after the invention of the Hero status I was invited to join their ranks, and I continued to play regularly (some days I was on line more than I was off...) Eventually Keops even offered me a position on the immortal staff, which I gladly accepted. Unfortunately, DrK was about my ONLY character, so I lost a large part of my life in that. However, I took to the administering as well as I did the playing, and things were actually quite good.
Here, lines blur, and the order of events become somewhat hazy (in other words, my memory sucks), and a few events changed the face of my mudding career. At one point, we invoked a rather strict name policy, and since the immortals were not immune from their own laws, I was forced to rename DrK. I had come up with what I thought was a rather random and arbitrary name, Thalen, to name a thief character I had started playing a few months earlier. Turns out that name wasn't exactly unused, but it was rare enough that I decided to stay with it.
(A brief historical note...the player Thalen, the thief, was somewhat known at the time of the name change, and as we were experiencing a pfile wipe at the time, it was my intention to fabricate a mud story about Thalen, who would reach the pinnacle level 99 just as the mud universe was destroyed, and the result of the Great God DrK being lost to the universe (because of the name rules) at that same time would propel that last high player into immhood... Unfortunately time was a little short, and the mud was shutting down during my work hours, so that story never really came to fruition. DrK just disappeared, and Thalen popped up as a previously unknown immortal when the mud came back up.)
Since that day, Thalen has been my primary pseudonym in mudding and on the rest of the net. DrK became my warrior player during the times I played that class, and since then I have branched out to play a number of other characters to level 99 (or later, to 100+ when the ceiling was lifted). A fair number of those 100+ characters have been lost for all time to the historical pfile wipes of the past, but I've always felt that getting there was half the fun, so there was no love lost by those unfortunate situations.
Since that time, I've played a number of other muds (especially during the downtimes while the mud was being re-written from the ground up), and I've probably spent at least a little time on all of the most well known muds out there. Usually going by the name _____ (another completely random name) in my initial visits, I've scoped out many muds over the years. On the few muds that I stayed on to play, my more common names included both Thalen and DrK, as well as NightWing (and a few others I still use anonymously). I can't count the number of muds I've managed to play a character up to the highest levels before dropping off to come back Mystic Adventure. Even as a now long-time immortal, I still find occasion to start up a new player or dust off one of my old high level characters for a few hours of fun on my home mud.
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